Form Letter to Send to Your Congressman
Re: Identity Theft-Based Refund Fraud
I am a constituent and am very concerned that the U.S. Treasury is losing billions of dollars to identity based-theft tax refund fraud. I would like to see action taken by your office on this issue in the 113th Congress.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently prepared a report on November 29, 2012 titled, Identity Theft, Total Extent of Refund Fraud Using Stolen Identities is Unknown. This report found, among other things, that the IRS does not know the full extent of the occurrence of identity theft. While the IRS has made significant efforts to resolve, detect, and prevent identity theft-based fraud, the problem still exists and is continuing to grow.
According to the GAO’s report, as of September 30, 2012, the IRS had identified almost 642,000 incidents of identity theft that impacted tax administration in 2012, a significant increase over prior years. This figure did not include incidents related to the “Operation Mass Mail” scheme in which identity thieves used stolen identities of Puerto Rican citizens. The IRS reported that as of September 30, 2012 436,000 incidents occurred as a result of the scheme.
In the table below, tax-related identity theft incidents, identified by the IRS between 2008 and 2012, show that the problem is a large and growing one:
The GAO report acknowledged that the IRS has taken multiple steps to detect, resolve, and prevent identity-theft based tax refund fraud. For example, new filtering processes in 2012 were implemented which detect identity theft based on the characteristics of incoming tax returns. The IRS also uses the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), sent to victims of identity theft. However, while these and other tools are necessary in the ongoing war on identity-theft based tax refund fraud, it is absolutely critical that the IRS commit and allocate most, if not all, existing and available resources now (including IRS personnel) to prevent identity theft-based tax refund fraud between the months of January, 2013 and April, 2013. This period represents the height of the 2013 tax season and most incidents of identity theft-based tax refund fraud will occur during this period of time.
Please contact the IRS and request that they commit and allocate most, if not all, existing and available resources now (including IRS personnel) to prevent identity theft-based tax refund fraud between the months of January, 2013 and April, 2013. Please let me know what steps they are taken to prevent identity theft-based tax refund fraud.
Please support, cause to be re-introduced and pass the following bills in the 113th Congress:
- Senate Bill 3432,Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act introduced in the Senate on July 25, 2012.
- Senate Bill 1534, Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act introduced in the Senate on September 8, 2011.
- H.R. 6205, Protect and Save Act of 2012 introduced in the House on July 26, 2012.
- H.R. 3215, Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act introduced in the House on October 14, 2011.
- H.R. 3482, Tax Crimes and Identity Theft Prevention Act introduced in the House on November 18, 2011.
- H.R. 4362, Stopping Tax Offenders and Prosecuting Identity Theft Act of 2012 introduced in the House in 2012 (now in the Senate).
- H.R. 6583, Prevention of Fraudulent Use of Taxpayer ID Numbers of Residents of Territories and Possessions introduced in the House on November 2, 2012.
- H.R. 3475, Keeping IDs Safe Act of 2011 introduced in the House on November 18, 2011.
- H.R. 1509, Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2011 introduced in the House on April 13, 2011.
- H.R. 1956, Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act, has passed the House.
Thank you for all of your efforts in the 113th Congress.